Last season, Elton Brown was an NBADL All-Star, and lead his team to the championship game. This year, he is scoring more points and rebounding the ball better, while averaging 20 and 10, and yet he has still never received a call-up. After returning from the Pan-American Games, he joined the Charlotte Bobcats summer league team, but came in heavier than they would have liked, causing a lot of scouts to once again question his conditioning. He played himself into good enough shape to make the Los Angeles Lakers training camp roster before being cut at the last minute in favor of Coby Karl, and is now back for his second stint with the Colorado 14ers.
Elton had a strong first quarter, hitting all 3 of his shots and grabbing 5 boards, but he only took one shot in the second quarter. He did manage to get to the free throw line 6 times in the first half (converting on 5 of them) but consistent aggressive can be a problem for him, especially when teammates arent getting him the ball. He finished with 19 points and grabbed a monstrous 18 rebounds, 5 of which were offensive.
Brown was guarded most of the game by Cory Underwood and Kevin Pittsnogle. Listed only 10lbs apart, Brown is probably closer to 35lbs bigger than Underwood, and used his body to consistently walk him under the rim and easily lay it in over him or, defensively, to push him out of rebounding position allowing him to get to the ball easily. Against Pittsnogle, Brown used his superior foot speed to break him down off the dribble, and in one play drove down the lane splitting defenders and smoothly kissed it off the glass.
Big or small, Elton is one of the best players in the league at using the rim as his ally. He has a variety of step across and crafty reverse layups off the glass that allow him to get his shot off against almost anybody. In the D-League this allows him to score a lot of points, but its questionable whether or not this tactic would be as successful against the bigger and more athletic players in the NBA.
Regardless, his numbers and talent are undeniable, and if he could just shake the knock against his work ethic and conditioning, he might actually receive that elusive call-up.